Jacob Salafia scored a pair of goals as Cromwell eliminated Bacon Academy in the quarterfinals of the Class M tournament on Oct. 11. Salafia scored in all three of the Panthers tournament games.
Jacob Salafia - Cromwell (Soccer): Salafia has been a scoring machine in the tournament, netting goals in each of the team’s first three tournament games.
The senior captain scored a pair of goals in a 3-0 victory at Bacon Academy in the quarterfinals of the Class M state tournament on Nov. 11.
Salafia’s first goal came less than three minutes into the game when he gathered a deflection and scored what would prove to be the game-winner
“We’ve been scoring a lot of goals early in the tournament and I think that gets out confidence going,” said Salafia, who said the team turned the page following a 6-0 loss to Morgan in the Shoreline Conference tournament on Oct. 29. “After that Morgan game we had a couple of days off and we had to refocus ourselves. We knew we could make a run in this tournament.”
Head coach Angelo Morello said that Salafia has been “outstanding” in the state tournament, adding that the prolific scorer came into the state tourney with a “chip of his shoulder” after not making the first-team all-conference following 20 goals in the regular season.
In Cromwell’s first two tourney games, Salafia scored the team’s only goal as the Panthers defeated Joel Barlow (1-0) in the first round and again during the team’s 2-1 win over Lewis Mills (2-1) in the second round.
In the win over Bacon, Jack Wood added an insurance goal in the second half and junior goalie Thomas Garcia was terrific between the pipes, making a handful of miraculous saves to preserve the shutout.
“He’s been unbelievable,” Morello said of Garcia. “He’s been our rock back there.”
Veronica McKenna - Wethersfield (Field Hockey): McKenna was flawless in goal over a pair of tournament games as the Eagles shutout Farmington 2-0 in the first round and Masuk 1-0 in overtime in the quarterfinals of Class M tournament. The senior captain went the entire way against Farmington and then played all the way through regulation in the quarterfinals before Tess Parker cemented the shutout in overtime. The goalies provided the defense, while freshman Maya Fanelli and junior Sadie Ruiz each scored to spark the offense in the win over Farmington and Ruiz scored a dramatic game-winner with 39 seconds left in the extra session against Masuk to send the Eagles to the semifinals for the second straight season. .
Milena Brodowicz - Wethersfield (Swimming): Brodowicz broke the Central Connecticut Conference (CCC)-North Championship meet record in the 50 yard freestyle as the Eagles took first place at the conference meet. Brodowicz, a freshman, also won the 500 freestyle and was part of the medley relay team that took first. In addition, she also teamed with Isabella Korzinski, Sophia Klementon, and Madison Tracy to break the Freshman Record in the 400 freestyle relay. Wethersfield dominated the meet overall, positing 93% best times and taking 59 of a total 90 medals with 23 of the 29 members of the team winning at least one medal.
David Czubat - Rocky Hill (Soccer): Czubat scored on a header off a corner kick in the 73rd minute to provide the go-ahead goal as the Terriers rallied to upset No. 2-ranked Windham 2-1 in the second round of the Class M tourney. Rocky Hill fell behind 1-0 before Jason Nadeau knotted the score midway through the second half, paving the way for Czubat’s heroics.
Allie Leahy - Wethersfield (Soccer): Leahy scored the game’s lone goal as the Eagles eliminated Guilford (1-0) in the second round of the Class L tournament on Nov. 10 and then tallied another goal in the team’s quarterfinals victory (2-1) over Woodstock on Nov. 12 at WHS. Bella Bonfiglio scored the Eagles’ other goal in the win over Woodstock and Vanessa Venditti registered both wins in goal, including picking up her 10th shutout in the victory over Guilford.
Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin